Two Things on Levi Bryant’s Post

Bryant has a post on normativity relating to a discussion of Bennett. But out of all that, I will note, he’s right that HBO’s Gasland is an excellent documentary.

(I also saw the Cove, which along with the ongoing news from the Gulf means that Freelancer Extraordinaire and I would love some good ecological news. Are polar bears bouncing back? Something? The Cove, inadvertently, is a more “ambiguous” project: it reports on efforts to shut down a “cove” where dolphins are slaughtered in the thousands each year. The efforts are led by Ric O’Barry, who tosses off questionable factoids and seems to have been driven a bit unhinged after years of work on behalf of dolphins. The movie has several problems—not least a cultural deaf ear—not least of which is a shift of focus from the undeniable suffering to mercury levels in dolphin meat. The whole analysis is based, at least on screen, from one test of one piece of meat found in one fish market. Not that mercury levels aren’t worrisome in seafood more generally, but I wanted to ask, well, hey I like the dolphins and don’t care about selfish reasons not to eat them, and, wait, forget the dolphins—maybe there’s a larger picture here of environmental devastation that has them swimming in toxic levels of mercury. In other words, it’s distracting to the ethical trust of the movie and it’s where it’s claims are most tangential.)

What was my other point again about Bryant? It was going to be something about Luhmann, but I realize that it would take me a bit long to formulate, but in a word, I’m not as convinced as Bryant, though it’s worth revisiting his work. Because looking at the stacks of books surrounding me, I’m thinking, that’s what I need: more reading.